What with Google having such a stranglehold over the world wide web, it’s more important than ever for professionals to create a strong online identity that’s clearly visible in its search results.
A recent article in Forbes points out that if you want to know what impression Google has of you, the first thing is to Google your own name. Depending on how common your name is, you may need to add your age, hometown or your job title to see results about yourself. The results Google throws up show you exactly what others can see about you when they search for you – they offer a look of how visible you are, and that can be critical to your personal branding.
And if you’re not finding very many results, Forbes' contributor William Arruda says not to worry. “There are many options available to you that will take your personal brand from digitally doomed to digitally dazzling,” Arruda says. “All you need to do is build and act on your online personal branding plan.”
Arruda recommends that professionals identify their differentiator in their particular line of business, and then find ways to link their personal and professional content online. He says to strive for 70-80 percent professional content, and 20-30 percent personal text. He adds that page one of Google’s search results is the only page to worry about, as eighty-seven percent of all searchers never check page two.
Finally, Arruda recommends a few tricks to help you ramp up your ‘Google appeal’.
First, he suggests crafting a better and more engaging bio, letting people know who you are and what you do. To do so, he advises that the first thing is to update your profile on LinkedIn, or create one if you don’t have one already. That’s because LinkedIn profiles invariably turn up in the top three results when you search for someone’s name on Google. Be sure to keep your headshot, headline and summary up to date, and take the time to fill out your skills, endorsements, experience and education.
Arruda also recommends securing vanity URLs on all of the social media sites you use in a professional capacity.
“Namechk can help you determine the sites on which your name is available,” Arruda notes. “If yours is not available, for SEO purposes, add something to the end of your name rather than putting something between your first and last name.”